-A month later-
‘’Sometimes the problem isn’t how others see you- it’s how you see you.’’
It’s a warm Saturday night, the sky is clear and the stars are shining brightly in the sky.
Wynita and I are sitting outside on the verandah and we are each holding a cup of hot coffee in our hands.
It’s the night before my wedding and I am a nervous wreck. The past few weeks have been hectic to say the least. I have been so busy planning that I haven’t had time to sit down and let it sink in until now.
I still can’t believe that by this time tomorrow I will be Mrs. Bwalya.
I really can’t wait to be Jason’s wife but I am quiet anxious about walking down the aisle and being the center of attention. Everyone will be looking at me the whole day like I am on display & that is kind of scary.
‘’I still can’t believe that you are getting married tomorrow,’’ Wynita says, taking a sip of her coffee.’’ It seems like yesterday that I was changing your nappies, you have truly grown and I am proud of you.’’
‘’Thank you,’’ I respond. ‘’I know I haven’t been easy to deal with but I appreciate everything you have done for me, I appreciate all the sacrifices you’ve made for me to get this far, I really do.’’
‘’I love you a lot Wendy, I know I don’t say it often but I love you with everything in me and I want you to be happy and if Jason makes you happy then I am cool with it.’’
We drink our coffee in a comfortable silence.
‘’Do you ever think about mum?’’ she asks breaking the silence.
My heart races at the mention of mum, why would she want to bring her up at a time like this.
‘’Why would I think of her?’’ I ask
‘’She was our mother,’’ she responds.
‘’I don’t remember having a mother,’’ I shot back.
Wynita grabs my hand and gives it a squeeze, ‘’you have to let it go, you have to forgive her.’’
‘’Forgive her?’’ I ask as my anger instantly turns into rage.
‘’I don’t owe that woman my forgiveness & I will never waste my time thinking about her.’’
‘’She is your mother.’’
‘’No she is not,’’ she is not my mother I say.
‘’She is your mother and you have to forgive her.’’
Tears drip down my face and suddenly, memories that I had buried away in the back of my mind years ago begin to resurface.
My childhood is filled with bitter memories, memories of a loud and angry household.
I never got to see my father- he died the day I was born, sadly my mother never recovered from his death. She was always sad and angry and she took out her frustrations on me.
As a child my mother constantly criticized me, she would call me hurtful names and put me down.
She would hit me for no reason and she would tell me every day how stupid I was.
To say I was scared of my mother is an understatement, I was terrified of her. Each time she looked at me my heart would instantly start racing, she looked at me with eyes full of hate.
My mother told me I was ugly and no one would ever love me and I believed it.
I didn’t even understand why she took great joy in making me miserable but no matter what she did, I tried to do the right thing at all times so I could win her love and approval but all to no avail.
After hearing how ugly I was every day, I began to believe it and once I hit rock bottom and almost took my own life but Wynita saved me.
My mother died when I was fifteen, she was involved in a car accident and died on the spot.
After her death I battled with a lot of anger, pain and resentment.
That woman died without ever telling me she loved me- that scarred me for life.
When I met Jason, I badly wanted to be in love and to have someone love me.
Jason and I met at a café in town, I noticed him sitting alone in a corner of the room, drinking his coffee. He looked my way and there was something about him that made my insides melt.
Though I didn’t think a man like that would ever want anything to do with a low life like me.
He walked over to me and said hi, the chemistry was everything- I knew he was the one.
We talked a bit, he cracked jokes and I laughed then we exchanged numbers.
Jason made me feel special and he believed in me. He told me so many times I was what he had been looking for his entire life he spoke of marriage, babies and a fairy tale ending.
When we started dating, I had just finished my grade 12 and was working as a shop keeper.
Jason made me stop work and he enrolled me into University he has been footing all my bills since then.
And over the years, Jason has been a great source of support, he has held me down when no one else had and despite his tantrums I think he genuinely loves me. I am determined to make our marriage work.
My whole life, I have worked so hard and I try to be in the best in everything I do, if my mother is looking down at us, I hope she is rolling in shame, I made it after all and I am getting married tomorrow.
‘’You know what?’’ I ask my sister before wiping my face with the back of my hand.
‘’I wish that woman was here today.’’
‘’Yes, I wish she was here to see me walk down the aisle in my beautiful wedding gown, I wish she could see how beautiful I have come over the years, I wish she could see me in my graduation gown next month and mostly importantly I wish she could see how much Jason loves me, oh how it would hurt her to know that someone thinks I am beautiful and they love me,’’ I laugh.
My sister looks at me intently then she opens her mouth to say something but quickly shuts it.
‘’I hope you are not doing all this to prove a point,’’ She says.
‘’Let’s forget about that woman and talk about happy stuff, tomorrow is my big day I need to be happy.’’
‘’Are you gonna cry the whole night?’’ Jason asks.
We just finished having sex and our bodies are curled around each other.
After that fight we had last time, I apologized and begged him to forgive me and he did forgive me.
We haven’t been seeing each other much because he has been busy but he always finds time to see me. Tomorrow, Jason is marrying another and even though he says nothing will change between us, I am scared that one day he will wake up and decide to leave me.
‘’Can you please stop crying already,’’ he says.
‘’I am sorry if I am being a little emotional, I am just so sad that you will be tying the knot tomorrow.’’
‘’Yes I am getting married but that doesn’t change anything, I will continue to take care of you as long as you remain faithful and don’t try out any evil schemes.’’
‘Have I ever lied to you?’’
‘’There you have it,’’ he says. ‘’I won’t be able to see you in the next two weeks but I will deposit some money into your account tomorrow for you upkeep,’’
‘’Okay. What time are you heading back home?’’
‘’You want me to leave?’’
‘’I just want to know how much time I have left with you tonight.’’
‘’I will leave at midnight, I need to be well rested for the day ahead.’’
I am standing in front of a body length mirror looking at myself and for a moment there I can hardly recognize myself. I have to admit I look really beautiful in my off shoulder ball gown wedding dress.
My hair is pinned up in curls but most of it is down, I have curls cascading my back.
And my makeup is flawless, I have never looked this good my entire life, I should say Jacey outdid herself this time around -she hired the person who did my makeup and hair.
‘’You look gorgeous sis,’’ Wynita says.
‘’So do you,’’ I respond, she is clad in a burgundy, floor length dress like the rest of my bridesmaids.
‘’I still can’t believe you are getting married,’’ Lucy says. ‘’Are you nervous?’’
‘’I am a bit nervous but I can’t wait to be married to Jason, he is amazing and he makes me happy.’’
‘’I wish you and Jason happiness in your marriage.’’
‘’Thank you babes, you are next in line.’’
‘’Team married women,’’ she laughs.
‘’And me?’’ Sonia rolls her eyes.
‘’Find some single friends to mingle with,’’ I tease.
‘’Oh please,’’ she responds and we all laugh.
‘’You all need to finish what you are doing because Auntie Julia will be here with the cars shortly,’’ Wynita says.
‘’And we all know how she hates being late,’’ I respond.
‘’Let me put on my shoes,’’ Lucy says.
While everyone is busy winding up, I remain standing in front of the mirror- the day I have finally been waiting for is finally here, I am going to be Mrs. Bwalya a few hours from now.
Oh, how I wish mother were here, to see how beautiful I look. And maybe, just maybe she would have finally accepted me. Everything I have done in this world I have done for her, I would give everything to hear her express her love for me or to just tell me how proud she is of the woman I have become.
As I continue thinking about her, my heart swells with pain and tears glisten in my eyes but I hold them back to prevent messing up my face.
‘’She would have been proud of you,’’ Wynita says as if reading my mind and I roll my eyes at her.
She laughs, ‘’and please don’t start crying because you will ruin your make up.’’
Shortly after, a knock sounds at the door.
‘’Are you guys ready?’’ Julia asks, peeking into the room.
‘’The cars are here.’’
‘’Mike! I need your help,’’ Vaniciah says.
‘’What?’’ I turn to look at her angry that she is disturbing me while I am have my breakfast.
‘’Which one of the two dresses should I wear?’’ she asks
She has two dresses in her hands- a short floral half sleeve flare dress & a long off black dress with a long slit on the left side.
‘’And where are you heading to this morning?’’ I ask.
‘’I thought I told you yesterday that I am going for a wedding.’’
‘’And who is Wendy?’’
She sighs frustratedly and I almost laugh but I compose myself, I am trying to fight with her.
‘’Wendy used to be our intern at the company, she will be working with us again when she is done with school.’’
‘So which dress should I wear?’’
I look at the dresses for a second before I say,’’ The floral one for church and the black one for the reception.’’
‘’Thank you,’’ she smiles.
This is what I deal with almost every morning I spend a night here, Vaniciah usually selects different types of clothes and makes me choose an outfit for her.
‘’You need to find a husband,’’ I yell as she rushes for the bedroom.
‘’Soon brother, soon,’’ she responds.
As I finish eating my breakfast, my phone vibrates indicating a new text message I grab it and read the message from Lillie.
‘’Babe please come now if can,’’ the message reads.
Lillie and I are officially an item, we are taking things one day at a time and if all goes well, she might be the woman I will end up marrying.
‘’Are you okay?’’ I reply
She texts back almost immediately, ‘’No! Please come.’’
‘’Are you nervous?’’ Derrick my best man asks.
‘Not really,’’ I respond.
We are already standing in front of the church awaiting my bride. I still can’t believe that I am finally marrying Wendy.
I know I am not perfect and most times I act like a jerk but I love Wendy and I know without a doubt that she will make a perfect wife.
After standing there for a long time, the doors of the church swing open. Wendy is right there, holding her sister’s hand, looking right at me.
My bride! My wife to be! She looks so beautiful.
I smile at her and she smiles back, what could be more perfect?
When the music fills the church, Wynita leads her forward beaming with pride and I step forward to receive her.
As I walk into the church, I see Jason waiting for me he looks so handsome in his black tux and purple tie.
Jason meets me halfway and when he finally takes my hand, I am, surprised that I am not even shaking at all.
‘’You look beautiful,’’ he whispers.
‘’Thank you,’’ I whisper back. ‘’You don’t look bad yourself.’’
He chuckles and then we walk the rest of the way to the front of the church and stand in front of the Bishop.
Then the ceremony begins….
Throughout the ceremony, Jason and I gaze into each other’s eyes, it’s as if no one else exists except the two of us- it’s magical.
Then the minister speaks the words that I hate and I am forced to pay particular attention this time around.
‘’If anyone of you has reasons why these two shouldn’t be married speak now or forever hold your peace.’’
‘’If no one objects then we may continue,’’ he says.
And I breathe out in relief.
But just when the minister is about to continue, the church door swings open and a woman holding two children in her hands marches in.
‘’Stop!’’ she says as she walks towards the front.
In that moment my heart begins to race uncontrollably, my head instantly starts pounding and suddenly I feel so hot.
‘’Young lady who are you?’’ The bishop asks
Everyone’s eyes were drawn to her as she stands there with a smile on her face I blink my eyes and look at Jason doubtfully.
His eyes were burning with anger.
‘’What’s going on?’’ I whisper but he doesn’t respond.
‘’I am sorry I had to come here but I have been trying to reach out to you,’’ she says to Jason.
‘’I think we should all head to the office and talk about this confusion,’’ the Bishop says.
‘’Gladly,’’ the woman responds.
My legs feel so weak I feel like I will fall down any minute from now but as if reading my mind, Wynita walks over and she holds me.
‘’Let’s go to the office,’’ Julia says as she leads the way for all of us. I am so confused right now I didn’t expect that something like this would happen. I don’t even know who this woman is or what her business is with Jason but they had better be a reasonable explanation for this.